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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    A great travel clock, especially if you give talks or lectures!

    Monday, March 22nd, 2010, Netcast 1051

    Roadshow Alarm, shown open (right) closed (left)The complete long name for this clever producer is the Roadshow Companion Travel Alarm & Presentation Timer. But I’ll just call it the Roadshow Travel Alarm. Yes, it a regular travel clock, but it also allows folks who give talks, addresses and boardroom presentations to keep track of their time through its unique LED lecture timer functionality. While picturing your audience in their underwear is said to help alleviate the stress of being in the spotlight, the Roadshow excels at alleviating the other half of the fear of public speaking: wondering if you’re staying with the presentation’s allotted time. Here’s how the Roadshow Presentation Timer works: there are six color LED lamps across the top of the clock that illuminate sequentially (in Auto mode) or change at intervals of your choosing (in Manual mode). In the auto mode, enter the time your lecture or talk is supposed to take, say for example 30 minutes. The clock divides this into six equal segments. For 30 minutes they’ll be 5 minutes each. For each 5 minutes of talk, a green LED sequentially lights. At the half way mark, a yellow LED comes on, then 5 minutes later, the next yellow LED light. At five minutes before the end of your talk, a red LED lights. This simple and unobtrusive visual pacing device helps keep your presentation on track. Flexible settings allow the Roadshow to work whatever your time needs. (I think the max is four hours, but your audience will have left long before then!!) Note that the LED’s are sequential. In order words, when the next LED down the line lights, the one before it goes out. You don’t end up with 6 LED’s on at once.) Of course Leo already ordered one. He has no fear of speaking in public, but he does like to know the timing for certain events where he has to be on and off the stage at a preset time. Another thing I like about this clock is that it shows both the time of day and alarm time, plus a big ON or OFF for the alarm. And there’s a snooze feature. Normal price for the Roadshow is $29.95, but right now it’s on special at their website for $19.95. I contacted the company, American Innovative, and asked them if could please hold the sale price for a couple of weeks until folks get to hear this Netcast. In case it meets their needs, the price break is great. They kindly said they would.  


    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1051


    Never be wrong again! 

    Friday, March 19th, 2010, Netcast 1050 

    Back on Friday, August 22nd 2008 on the Daily Giz Wiz we went back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse to meet the “YES MAN”. He’s a small talking head that always agrees with everything you say!  Hear that Netcast here: www.twit.tv/dgw640 

    Whipping Boy (sometimes called the Whiner Doll) is a friend of the Yes, Man! Both were available starting in 1990 as fun gadgets produced by Rau Creations. How refreshing it was to know just about anything you do, no matter how bad, is not your fault! Yep, you can blame everything on the Whipping Boy.  Pass the blame onto him and he will immediately start apologizing. He’s voice activated. Say something to him like: “Why are these files so messed up?” Wait a beat and listen to what Whipping Boy has to say for himself! It’s always his fault! His responses include: 

    "It was all my fault." / "How could I have been so stupid."

    "I've screwed up again, why do you keep me around here?"

    "Forgive me, forgive me, please."

    "What a dumb thing to do. Fire me where I stand."

    "I destroy everything I touch with my incompetence."

    "I'm a disease, I make myself sick."

    Even though you can still find Whipping Boy & Whiner Doll listed on many websites, I couldn’t find one that still had them for sale. Even though you can’t currently buy a Whipping Boy (Luckily Leo had Dane!) you can still hear him apologize here: 


    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1050


    Another kind of timer. This one’s for your pet!

    Thursday, March 18th, 2010, Netcast 1049  

    This easy-to-use, three-button system is the perfect pet assistant for dog owners; Dog-e-Minder is your dog's new best friend! It keeps track of the last time your dog was walked, fed and received medication. It’s perfect to use as a training aide or as a reminder for busy pet owners, multi-pet homes and pet-sitters/walkers, Dog-e-Minder takes the guesswork out of "pet parenting" and let's you rest assured that your pets are given the attention they deserve! A business and family man, Dog-e-Minder co-founder Yair Shalev, designed this product with the busy dog owner in mind, and knows first-hand just how challenging it can be to keep things orderly at a time when people are doing more with a lot less. The simple, three-button design is easy for any family member to use. Each button has a symbol related to an activity. The "fire hydrant" symbolizes walk time, the "dog bone" represents feeding time and the "RX" symbol records the last time medication was administered. When you perform any one of these activities, simply hold the corresponding button down for three seconds and the current date and time is saved. To view stored information, just press the appropriate button once, and the display shows the last time the task was completed. When idle, the Dog-e-Minder also acts as a dog identification tag, displaying important pet name and owner contact information. The durable and waterproof casing will handle everything from fetching to swimming, in rain or sunshine. With a battery and backlight included, the Dog-e-Minder is easy to program and has an easy-to-read digital display. Available in black, blue, pink or red. $19.95 + S&H.  

    www.dogeminder.com   (Receive an optional PUPPY PINATA for FREE just pay S&H.)

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1049


    A clock that teaches kids to sleep in so you can too!

    Wednesday, March 17th, 2010, Netcast 1048 – Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

    Some time back on The Daily Giz Wiz we talked about the Good Nite Lite a device to help toddlers judge how long to wait before waking their parents. That device is here: www.goodnitelite.com And the Netcast on the Good Nite Lite is here: www.twit.tv/dgw801

    But now there’s a new, even more convenient device, the OK to Wake! Alarm Clock & Nightlight. So your child will not disturb you too early in the morning, the OK to Wake! glows green when it’s time for young kids to go see mom and dad in the morning! (Turns "green" notice the clever St. Patrick's Day tie-in!) OK to Wake! features a dual-color nightlight. The nightlight is programmable. The parent defines what time the "Green means GO!" light turns on in the morning. In the evening, OK To Wake! is a comforting nightlight (soft yellow glow) that can be turned on at the tap of a "toe" for a programmable duration (up to two hours). For older children that want to get up "on their own", OK To Wake! is a fully-functional alarm clock with snooze - just like mom and dad's! A pleasant gradual-wake (ascending volume) tone gently rouses your child. When sounding, the left toe button snoozes for ten minutes and the right toe button silences the bell. Fun animations make OK To Wake! come to life with smiles and winks whenever the alarm is sounding. And something else that’s very convenient is the Built-In Nap Timer. Just press a button to nap for up to 24 hours (fully customizable) without the other clock settings. And, best of all, the nap timer can conclude with the OK To Wake! light, the gradual-wake tone or both! But wait, there’s more! The clock ships with two interchangeable colored bezels (green bug and pink flower). Volume and brightness settings are fully adjustable to meet the preference of you and/or your child. Runs entirely on battery power (2x AA required) Under $30 


    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1048


    What’s up with Leo? He’s starting to do down-to-earth gadgets on Tuesdays!

    TTTT, Tuesday, March 16th, 2010, Netcast 1047

    This Tuesday’s gadget of the day is the Car MD. Now to be fair, Leo didn’t have even have to look under his desk to find it. It was in his “goodie bag” from MAC World. But Leo tried it, and likes it! Car MD is designed to give drivers two things they need most when it comes to their vehicle’s health:  easy-to-use tools and empowering information. Leo said it’s very easy to use. It should work on any 1996 and newer car, light truck, SUV and minivan. To get started you plug Car MD into the data link connector (DLC) of your 1996 & newer vehicle. That gives the device access to the vehicle’s on-board computer. (Videos on the company’s website can explain a lot more.) After the CarMD gathers the info it needs, a LED light tells you to disconnect it. When Leo did it, it took less than a minute to get the info downloaded into his Car MD. Then you use your PC to upload the information and tap into the CarMD online database for a specific report about what’s ailing your vehicle. The company says their easy-to-understand reports let you determine things like why your vehicle’s “check engine” light is on and find out how severe the problem is and how much parts and labor should cost. It’s like getting a second opinion on your repair estimate by comparing your CarMD report with your mechanic’s to ensure they located the true source of your car’s pain and bill you fairly. The CarMD database has real-life fixes from thousands of ASE certified technicians across the country and a range of resources to help you decide to attempt repairs yourself or refer to a qualified mechanic. Cost is $99.


     Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw1047